Question A.10, 2019 Legal Ethics Bar Exam

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

A.10.

(Question A.10, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 2019 Bar Exam)

Atty. B is a newly admitted member of the Philippine Bar. As a means to manage his heavy case load, Atty. B delegated the preparation and signing of all motions for extension of time to his secretary, Ms. D. On the signature page of every motion, the following would appear:

“Ms. D for B Law Office”

X, one of Atty. B’s clients, expressed concern over such practice. Atty. B reassured him that the same is completely permissible as lawyers are allowed to devise means to efficiently manage their workload. Besides, Ms. D is acting under his full knowledge and authority.

Does the practice of Atty. B of having his motions for extension of time signed by Ms. D constitute any violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility? Explain. (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

Yes. Answer

Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice of law. The signing of pleadings and motions is a practice of law as it requires application of the law. Rule

In the case at bar, Atty. B assisted, if not directed, the unauthorized practice of law when he instructed Ms. D to sign on motions that would be filed in court. Apply

Thus, Atty. B may be held liable for the violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Conclusion

..

(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

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